For starter, I’m really sorry for the long delay in my postings. I ran all over creation in 3 days 2 nights and back home in time to work at my new library branch in Miami this past monday. (More news about that in upcoming blogs.) Okay, I want to try and best describe my odyssey to you in my usual writing style and of course, post another entry with a slideshow and I am having problems. (Hell of a lot of pics!) Give me a day or two.
Friday, early morning, 5 am, I get up from bed and try to get dressed quitely and quickly since I was being picked up at 5:30am. Everything was packed and ready to go except for the portable dvd player. My son uses it when he goes to bed and watches “Goodnight Moon.” So, I open the door to his room as best as I can as to not wake him up. No dice. He sees me but I tell him to go back to bed. He does sort of but I can feel his eyes staring at me in the dark as I fumble to take out his dvd and unplug the adapter from the outlet. As I leave, he starts to cry. I’m try using the power of the Force and use the Jedi mind tricks on my son to go back to bed once more. This, however, had same effect as Qui-Gon had on convincing Watto to Federation credits. If my son could talk, he would say:
“What, you think you’re some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that? I’m a Toydarian a boy who wants his Moon dvd. Mind tricks don’t work on me, only money now go get my milk old man.”
Needless to say, I got him milk to calm him down. It worked a short time as he took several sips and went back to bed on his own. By this time, my friend, Mr.Gene was outside and just as I was leaving, my son starts crying again. I had to go and unfortunately, my wife had to get up earlier than expected. There was nothing else I could do but I blame my damn squeaky sneakers which from the night before since my boy cat did not pee on my sneakers but he pee’d in them. F’cat. I did wash them and they were dried as I put them on but damn it, I could never be a cat burgular. Even a deaf man could hear me coming.
Zoom, we go on the road to the airport. We get to MIA at 6:00 and it’s still dark. I really hate not seeing the sun when I wake up. Gene and I have a 2 hour wait and we kill some time having breakfast. Before we knew it, it became 7:00. Gene need to get his smoke fix before boarding but I needed to hit the ATM. This turned out to be a long ass walk and thank god for the super walkways because it was now 7:30 and haven’t gone through any security screenings. Off go the shoes like a prom dress, throw the change and other junk in my pocket and waited on line to get our stuff scanned. Luckily, we bypassed two checkpoints as we were waived through. Sweet, I thought. We get our crap together and then we hear the announcement that this was the final boarding call for our flight. We hauled ass but as fast as Mr Gene ran, smoker’s lung came in to play. I took the lead and got to our terminal. Damn, that was a long ass run but we made with minutes to spare. What a rush until….
My plane ride from Miami was almost eventful except for this lovely Carribean woman who would not shut up. In her Carribean accent, she was showing us her Carribean and U.S. money. Later, she was looking through the Airline’s catalog and telling me what she was going to get for her mother. Oy vey! Gene lucked out and plastured his face on the window, bastard. Later even still, I get up to use the lavatory. I’m three seats away from the back and noticed that I had to wait. I turned around to face the front and there is again but also waiting to use the lavatory. Geez, Louise. I could not shake this woman but when I got back to my seat, I whipped out my dvd player and started my Heroes dvd Season 1 marathon. Thank god, she got the hint. (I might do a dvd review on Heroes Season 1, keep an eye out for it.)
We landed and my ears were killing me and popping but not clearing. My friend Gene had his girlfriend Amada meet him at the airport which was nice to see them reunited. He then goes for a smoke, I get the luggage, and then we go grab a bite. I miss have a New York slice of pizza. You have no idea how hard it is to get just one freakin’ slice of pizza in Miami. I bought two and eat it quickly because I had to go. I jumped into a cab and off we went to the Milford in Manhattan.
The cab ride was truly awesome as there was a backseat tv display of the lastest new cast, interactive menu for sightseeing, dining and a true GPS readout where I can zoom in and out anywhere I wanted to go. The weather was warm and when we hit Manhattan, it all start to come back to me. The concrete jungle devoid of any trees, green grass, and blue sky. Ahh, home again. The street vendors selling of the I-think-it’s-meat-on-a-stick waft in the air and BOOM, I see Indy on the side of the bus. Indy! Indy! We have been on many adventures but I go first I yell in my head as my cab takes off. I got my second wind when I saw my childhood hero once more bigger than the life. We get to the hotel, I go out of the cab on the corner of 45th and 8th and the cabbie gave me a Welcome to New York hail. WOW! I could not wait to get to the Comic Con.
I get to check in early which was fantastic and had a room on the 23rd floor. All my life, I never stayed in a NY hotel but then again I used to live in the Bronx. Yes, I never had a reason to until till now. But I felt like a true grownup in a weird way. So here I was, I’m checking into upscale hotel wearing my Army of Darkness t-shirt under a button down a collar shirt which contradicts my mature feelings. I guess I’m a conservative geek until I am in the presence of other geeks and then we can let a geek flag fly.
I was a man on a mission to get to the Con. I started to listen to The Time Traveler’s Wife on a playaway device. If you haven’t seen these in your bookstore or library, this is the next generation of audiobooks without the need listening to cds or cassettes. The playaways are their own players and since I heard great things about the book, I couldn’t resist taking it on the trip. The 30 minute walk was fun and enjoyed what I heard. I played several more time during the time but didn’t finish it…yet. I get to the Jacob Javits Convention Center which is another thing I never been to while I lived in NY and I was blown away by the size of it. You’ll see in the pics what I’m taking about but there was just so much to see and do.
Since I was granted a professional pass for the weekend due to being a librarian, the early afternoon sessions were closed to the general public. There was a great deal of people but it didn’t feel as crowded as the day grew long and even to all day saturday. While I had to go to several panel specific for Librarians, I was also there to see a very old and dear friend Michele St. Martin. She is a talented illustrator and she has made the leap to the other side of the con table. To me, this was important to me to see her again and at this stage of her career. Going back ages ago, we wanted to do a horrow movie called Lupin and she did some great werewolves drawings. I self taught myself film production techniques and I was going to work on the story. We never made the film but we did have fun trying. Jump back to the con, we had a great time after the con and I look forward to working with her in the near future.
Saturday morning and I am awake by 8:30. I head out to the NBC store. Along the way, I am playing Vangelis’ Blade Runner on my MP3 player. The NY setting was perfect with the harsh bright light beating down. I started to get emotional with the Blade Runner Blues track just as I saw the Zeigfield theatre. This was my place. I grew watching movies like Earthquake, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Indiana Jones, and other summer blockbusters. This was my childhood playground where I felt safe and protected. So all these feeling and memories rushed at me all at once and I couldn’t hold back my tears. I had to let this wave play out and a few blocks later, I was able to regain my composure. Basically, I was Spock fighting to keep him human side in check. Okay, enough of the rememberance crap but I didn’t expect nor plan this as by pure chance I went down this one block.
As I walked into 30 Rock, I entered the NBC store which seemed like forever. I saw all the Heroes stuff and nearly picked everything up and quickly fought against myself to put it all back. I didn’t want to but honestly, they are just things that I would have bought and just gathered dust on my desk. I couldn’t waste money like I used to 10 to 20 years ago. I moved on back to the Con to collect lots of swag for myself and my friends. I saw one more panel which was on upcoming books for Star Trek and by 2pm, I was exhausted. The crowds were getting way too much for much to manage. I said my goodbyes to St. Martin and head back to the hotel to take a nap. Several hours later, I wake up for my psuedo high school reunion. While only 4 people showed up, I had a great time with them and even traveled down to the Village. Before I knew it, it was 12:30am and I had to get up in three hours to fly back home.
Two things that sucked about the return trip home was the layover and the text message when I landed. First, the return flight was $100 but I had to fly in to Nashville with a 3 hour layover. I explored the airport, grabbed some lunch, and then sat for a couple of hours, BORING. I then get a text from my friend Gene who is still in NY. He sends me this picture on the right. Okay, great. He was near my hotel and… He sends a reply that he is going to see the play because there were seats available for $26.50. FUDGE! FRAK! THE HAND GOES UP! (An inside RIker joke using the Q powers.) He gets to see my scifi two-fer and while I was happy for HIM him, I would have loved to have see Patrick Stewart perform live on stage. Yes, I’ve seen Patrick at an earlier Con but it’s another thing to see him in action. This closest thing that I have is the one man Christmas Carol he performs on CD. It’s not the same but it would have been icing on the cake. After the exchange, my high school friend Lilly keeps me company on the cell phone until my flight was ready for departure. After that, my flight was uneventful, quiet and somewhat peaceful. Thank the Gods that crazy Carribean woman wasn’t sitting next to me on the way home.
So, sorry for the long ass blog entry but I promise to have the pics up asap.
Let me know if you went to the Con or what you thought.